Tuesday, 1 February 2011

You are braver than you think you are.

you are braver than you think you are

My word for the year 2011 (I know, it took me a while to decide) is going to be:


(with a hint of 'presence', an undertone of 'connection' and a dash of 'being')

I realised it last night as I was contemplating unwanted behaviour and strategies I employ (over-eating in response to a wide variety of feelings). I realised that the biggest thing I don't do before I employ unwanted strategies is: become aware of and connect to 'what is alive in me'. I just go into a trance like state, I'm on automatic pilot and I do what I always do.

Instead, if I pay attention, create awareness and really connect to what is going on within me, feeling-wise, I may be able to choose different strategies in response to whatever it is that is going on in me.

So, the challenge I set myself this year is to become more aware of my inner me. My inner Tam and give her a massive dose of lovin'. :-)

One of the ways I want to become more aware (and this is where it becomes FUN), is through art journaling. I can hear you say: 'but Tam, you journal already'. Yes, yes, my faithful reader, I sorta do, but not in this new way I want to do it. I normally journal perhaps at the end of the day or take an hour during lunch. This time, I want to journal each time I feel down or right before -and as a prevention of- choosing unwanted strategies to deal with my stuff. So, if I feel the urge to eat (emotionally, rather than physically), I am going to take it as a sign that 'something is up' and I will then ask myself: 'Tam, what is up?', then really connect and feel my stuff and write/ journal about it. I probably won't have lots of time for it, but just writing down something small or doing a quick doodle, a brief moment of connection with myself, may help me become more and more aware and help heal and transform.

I'm excited about this new way of trying to deal with something I've struggled with all my life. :)

Oh, to top it off, for this specific purpose I'm gonna make my own journal! (Because I want my journal to have watercolour paper). Eee. :)

Now, I like this idea and want to make this journal, but but but, I don't know when because I'm currently working like MAD (6 days a week can you believe and sometimes until late late in the night).

M3 is going wonderfully! The students are doing amazing work and they are all so lovely towards each other! It's very time consuming for me though and I'm definitely going to run my next course differently so that I time manage it better. I thought I had done enough of the materials beforehand, but I put so much more into a class nowadays compared to when I just started (simply because everything evolves) and these classes have just become 'monsters' (sweet ones, and pretty ones, but still monstrous in size, lol). So, I have my hands full with that. But, I can't complain, I feel deeply blessed with all that I have and am able to do. I love my work and students so much!

After this, I am going to take a HUGE break and do a load of art just for my own enjoyment. I desperately want to make art dolls and record some more songs and do some more paintings! I'll have time again, soon!

Althououoouuugh, in other news! I was invited by Connie from dirtyfootprints studio to be 1 of the teachers on the next round of 21 secrets! How cool is that? I am going to be surrounded by 20 other amazingly talented artists who will each share some of their art journaling secrets with all the students! The first round has been incredibly successful and this time round proves to be amazing too! Registration starts Monday, March 14, 2011.

21 SECRETS Spring opens Friday, April 1, 2011 and closes Monday, August 1. 2011. If you want to read more about it, have a peek here: http://www.dirtyfootprints-studio.com/2011/01/secret-is-out.html

So that will be a new project I'm involved with after this course, but it will in no way be as time consuming, ha ha!

Ok, here is some new art that I managed to finish off recently:

the angel and the horse
Inspired by the work of Lucy Campbell

Angel for week 3 of M3

This angel & girl were created for week 3 for the course I'm currently running. :)

And I also did an art journal entry for it which is this one:

Art Journal 2011 - angel exploration

In other news, being with Dylan still has its ups and downs, but it's recently been more fun to be with him (depending on his level of grumpy, hee hee). He can be absolutely delightful. Earlier, I was watching him as he was engrossed in the sing and sign DVD and I was struck by so much love for him that I could crumble right before him. :)

I'm also, however, really wanting to stop breastfeeding him, but don't know how. He loves it so much, I don't want to take it away from him, but he puts his hands down my shirt and always scratches me in the process and it's often not a lot of fun for me anymore. Any helpful tips on this one are welcomed! :)

Here are two cute little videos of Dylan, the first he's in the bath (17.5 months old btw) and in the second it's me and him giggling! :)

and here some recent twitpics, taken with the iphone:

very rosey cheeked today #TwitPict on Twitpic xxxx #TwitPict on Twitpic Let us charm you this morning x  on Twitpic

And here some bigger ones.

dylbee in a funny hat

my little explorer

I am ok overall, but just feel swallowed up by a wave of work and I'm losing myself and connection with loved ones a bit. So, I'm trying to be extra mindful of that and trying to breathe, ground and take stock once in a while so that I remain centered.

I'm really loving this practical approach to trying to become more inner aware (I've always said: I must become more aware, but not really figuring out a way to do it and I think the conscious journaling will really help).

So with that, I bid thee adieu for the night. Sweet dreams, magic sparklies and fairy dust!

Snugs & Hugs all. x


  1. Hi Tam.. those videos look like such fun.. Brings me back to the days with my daughters. I can understand the overwhelming feelings you have. It takes over. Is Dylan drinking at all from a sippy cup? He'll be fine if you wean him off.. Kids are tough. I think once you don't have the demand on you, you will begin to feel better. They grow so fast, you'll be looking back on these days missing them.

  2. oh and one more thing... he is GORGEOUS.. he looks just like you... BEAUTIFUL!!

  3. Luke (baby one) would put his HEAD under my shirt to try to feed (no matter where or who we were with) - at 18 months he was still having a night feed and still t shirt diving - I just got very firm with him - said No (in a nice voice) and did other happy things instead of food with him - but they can smell you and they cry - and I cried too But I remained resolute - it is very hard and took me a couple of months absolutely and Totally refusing him Any Feeds. - baby 2 stopped at six months when he decided he preferred a feeder beaker and toddler food like his brother...

    Change your routine ( and relationship with Dylan) at a time when you feel well and have few other stressors, be rested and know that you can focus on meeting his comfort needs in other ways and be aware it will make you feel terrible and you will need that new journal...but you can do it and so can he. It is the first step in the lifetime of letting them become less dependent...less comforted - and finding the ability to sustain themselves.

    Eventually your need to stop will overcome the pain of stopping...

    Good mix and doses of words you chose there by the way...and I am LOVING m3


  4. Great word! I love that it encompasses a full journey. I was at Connie's blog today and saw your name there for the course...I thought, "she will be a lovely addition to her tribe". Going to have to join in the fun over there for sure now!

  5. I can hear it in your "voice"...you are pushing yourself way too hard. Parenting a young one (and quite a lovely little man he's getting to be!) and doing all of the work you put into your courses, your marriage, your music, etc....well, it makes me tired to even think about it! I suspect, being a creative person, you are also a very sensitive one. And those of us who are sensitives need frequent breaks from the stresses and strains of the real world. Do take that time for yourself, and enjoy every minute of it. It's not a luxury, it's a necessity!

    As for the eating, I hear ya! For eight years my sister and I dealt with a mother who had vascular dementia. Right after we lost her, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We're four years into that journey. I never used to be a stress eater, but I've become one. :(

    So, dear girl, take care of yourself. M3 will be over soon and you can take some time to breath, do art, and just "be."

    (And thanks for sharing your time with us now!)



  6. Another brilliant post dear Tam,

    I know your are working very hard, so if I can help out on your ning site with anything, anything at all, that would spare up some of your time, just give me a holler. I would LOVE to help out on your site, or if there is anything I can do from here.

    Sorry I don't live closer to help you with babysitting. My second child, Jack, started school today and now I only have one child, James, left at home. James loves having other kids over to play with.

    Apart from offer any online help the only other thing I can do is send you my love, friendship, my ear, my thoughts, prayers and a BIG VIRTUAL HUG.

    Keep plugging away smiley Tam. You're doing a wonderful job.

    Kyles xo

  7. I forgot to say, this new work is awesome, as usual.

  8. You have many things going on and with a wee one and working from home ... been there.
    Stopping breastfeeding is always a mother's decision - and sorry, but it seems that you haven't decided to really do that yet.
    When you really do decide, be firm, as Doone said. You absolutely have to stick to your decision and don't let him know that it breaks your heart. In a couple of weeks he'll forget it forever, if you drag it past the point you're comfortable with it, you'll remember it with a bitter undertone instead of just the sweetness and love you know that it was.
    If it's day time, offer him something lovable to do, if it's night time, maybe you'll have to remove him from yourself or viceversa until he's asleep again. But let's hope that it doesn't come to that (a friend of mine had to do that) and that he'll content himself with a cuddle and maybe with a song.
    Good luck, Kitty

  9. Hi Tam, Your little boy is a jewel:) It is such a blessing to be a mother, but there are times we feel overwhelmed with so many, many things in our inner and outer life that we don't manage to have "time", emotional availability to feel deeply all those blessings. I know that so well...
    I can tell you that you, your self, should be the priority! because if it is you will have the availability for others, especially the ones you love! You an your loved ones are what really matters and then comes the rest... the "should's" and "must's"...
    So taking time for your self and for doing what gives you much pleasure, what keeps you "lost" in the here and now moment, is the first position in your "to do" list! And the you'll find and really live your life blessings!
    About the breast feeding, I must tell you that when it is not a mutual pleasure anymore... it is not healthy. Talk to your little boy and tell him how you feel about it. He may be a little baby but they understand much more than what we think! They may not understand the words but they feel what you want to communicate! I stopped breast feeding my little girl when she was three months... sometimes I looked back and thought: "How could I've done that?". But now I know it was the best I could do! I was exhausted completely and felt limited and consumed by her schedules... And to stop was the best I could do because if I had done the sacrifice, that was the energy with which I was feeding her! And in fact she was very happy with the vegetable soups, fruits and yogurts!
    When we think of ourselves, we are thinking about the others too, even if society calls us "selfish" by doing it! It is not about leaving someone behind, it is about taking care of ourselves to give true love for the others and not sacrifices!
    Blessed be dear Tam! Take care! :)

  10. Hi!

    I love your digital work! I do some myself but i can't find a good program to draw and create in. May i ask you wich program you use?

    Thank you so much for sharing and showing your artwork, it's very inspiring :)

  11. Lovely to hear all your news Tam :) I breastfed all 6 of my babies and I know that when you feel like this it's nature's way of telling you it's time to stop. :) Cut down all feeds gradually down to the most favourite feed of the day (for you not him!) Then you can carry on the once a day until you fnally feel it's time to stop completely! He's growing so fast isn't he?xx

  12. thanks everyone for your lovely supportive comments!

    @judysheart: yes he drinks water from cups, lots. i think he just loves breastfeeding so much as it's with me and a different taste, of course! :)

    @doone ha ha, the 't shirt diving' thing made me laugh! with dylan he just pulls my vest down and scratches me in the process! yes, i think i'm going to have to start saying no etc, but he becomes so sad and i really find that hard! yes, i know at some point, i'm gonna have to anyway! thank you for your words! xoxoo oh and so glad you're enjoying m3! :0) yay!

    @nikki: oh yes, i look fwd being part of 21 secrets! hope all of you will come as well! :)

    @cia: i am definitely stretching my limits at the moment cia! after the course is finished i'll be taking a big break! oh yes, over-eaters; there are many of us out there! it's a tough habit to break. big hugs to you cia! thank you for your care.

    @kyles; you are too sweet to offer to help out on the site! i may take you up on that! :) thank you for the virtual hug too! :))) xoxo

    @kitty; thanks for your thoughts on the breastfeeding thing. it's the sticking to my decision that i find hard! ha ha.

    @Ana; thanks Ana! i like your idea of talking to him about it even though he may not understand the words. :) big hugs!

    @viktoria; i use photoshop and a wacom tablet! :)

    @thanks jessie: wow you have 6 kids?! wowwww! thanks for your thoughts on the breastfeeding thing! xoxo

  13. So much here Tam. Love your word brave. I've joined the Truth project over with Effy at Wild Precious and bravery is definitely needed there. So thanks for the encouragement to be brave. I also want to try my hand at making an art journal for that same project.
    As for breastfeeding - my second daughter refused to take a bottle so that I breastfed her for 6 months longer than I intended. Don't remember how we stopped - perseverence and time I suppose.

  14. Your art and beautiful photos of Dylan continue to be such a blessing.

    Please take some time for yourself though...........


    Lesley x

  15. Are you a Fairy Godmother too? I've heard you spread compassion and joy to aspiring artists. I am sure you must be!


Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3


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